Holiday Travel Expected To Rise For East Texans

The holiday season begins this week, and with it, the traditional season for travel. This time last year the country was still recovering emotionally from September eleventh, so travel was down. Now, a AAA study is predicting a big return to the roads and skies, with six percent more people expected to travel for thanksgiving.

Jennifer Handy is coming home. An East Texan going to school in New Jersey, she spent Saturday on a plane. She says her experience this year is much less stressful than her Christmas flight last year, just three months after the terrorist attacks.

"I feel a lot better," she says. "When I came home for Christmas it was nerve wracking. I was very stressed about the trip. But this trip, I feel kind of back to the routine."

Jennifer is one of an estimated forty million Americans who'll be taking to the roads and skies this week for Thanksgiving. For everyone, holiday travel is still not the same after September Eleventh, 2001.

"I noticed the guards at Newark airport," Jennifer says, "And the increased security checks. You know, I guess I had heightened awareness of those."

"My whole flight," she admits, "It was going through my mind what the people on those flights must have gone through."

As travellers crowd the roads and airports to make their Thanksgiving arrangements, they'll notice changes in security. And for most, it's no problem at all.

"I felt really good," Jennifer says, "About how they handled the security. And when I saw them handling people and checking their bags, it made me feel a lot better."

"I don't think there's anything too stringent about the security," she adds. "I might like to see a little bit more in the check-in areas in the smaller airports as well."

Jennifer's journey home ended this afternoon, as her mother picked her up to take her home. And with her down safe and sound, no more travel is scheduled for the Handy family. Their Thanksgiving is now complete.

Reid Kerr reporting.